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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cowboy Code Rewind

Got an email from one of my guys telling me he's developing a thing for a mutual friend's ex-girlfriend.

Tsk, tsk. He has forgotten the code already.

This is an issue we addressed in Chapter One of the Cowboy Code.

But for those who don't want to go back and read Chapter One, here's the deal:

You should not want or try to date your buddy's ex or your chick friend's ex guy, just 'cause there are too many fish in the sea to cast the net so close to home. If you're tempted by your buddy's or chick friend's ex just remember that when the friend and the ex were together, you always treated the ex as a sister or brother. Keep thinking of them that way and you won't be tempted to cross that line.

You should not want or try to date your buddy's ex or your chick friend's ex guy if their breakup was recent (I say under six months).

You should not want or try to date your buddy's ex or your chick friend's ex guy, if their breakup was recent and he/she still lives in the same city as you and your buddy/chick friend.

If an appropriate amount of time has passed and you "just happened" to fall for your buddy's/chick friend's ex, and you absolutely have to be with the ex, then do the right thing and tell your buddy/chick friend about your new romance. And tell 'em face to face. Don't be a coward and tell over the phone.

And (you may disagree with me on this one) if you tell your buddy/chick friend and they're still really bummed out over the breakup, you have a responsibility as a friend to not flaunt your new relationship with their ex. Keep it low key until the hard feelings have passed or until enough time has passed that you can say to your friend "Hey buddy, grow up. Get over it. You and I are old friends. You two didn't work out. It just so happens things did work out for us. Wish us well and get over it."

But seriously, if you really need a date look somewhere else. Why walk into unnecessary drama?


  • Yeah, that one's a can of worms. Always best to talk to the friend about it upfront. Good friends are hard to come by; it's almost never worth it to jeopardize one over a potential love interest.

    By Blogger The Dummy, at 11:44 PM  

  • i agree with you!very well said. among my friends and i we call it the bond of the sisterhood. true friends are hard to come by.... why jeopardize it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:32 AM  

  • ps, hey do you watch "what about brian"? very similar scenario, one friend got left at the altar!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:35 AM  

  • Welcome acaligurl. I haven't seen "What About Brian?" But I have friends who like it and talk about it often - they say it sometimes mirrors the "plots" in their own love lives.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 1:06 AM  

  • Hmmmm. Risk losing a good, longtime friend, or risk never having great sex with a fantastic date. Decisions, decisions. Which will rule? The head or the heart (ooops, strike that) hormones.

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 6:48 AM  

  • I have an old friend that found himself in this situation. He was so torn about it (even though his friend had soo moved on..)When he finally told his friend, the response was, "it's about time! You two are perfect together!" In fact, they are now married.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:22 AM  

  • RULE #1 don't shit where you eat. people think its just refering to work. hell no. its refering to life.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:44 PM  

  • I think yasamin put it very well in her own brand of vulgar eloquence.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:22 PM  

  • I dated a guy for 2 years and after a year or so after we broke up my best friend started dating him and now they are married and I couldn't be happier for them... It just depends I guess...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:41 PM  

  • Erica, that's really cool of you. A year or so is a relatively long time. I was always a bad breaker-upper from longterm relationships. I didn't go nuts or stalk or anything like that. I just pouted.

    So I would've been one of those exes who needed a looooong time before it was OK w/me that a buddy dated my ex.

    So kudos for being so understanding. Not sure if I could've done the same.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 1:47 PM  

  • I think it depends, too. I like the 6 month rule, and being as upfront as possible. I don't think anyone should flaunt a relationship like that - but it would really suck to hear about it from someone else.

    A friend of mine in college dated an ex of mine, and I could've cared less. But I think that had more to do with how I felt about him, I was definitely over it. But it would've been hard if I still had feelings for him.

    People aren't property. Though I am all for being sensitive to a friend's feelings, life must go on!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:59 PM  

  • Well, first of all. If her legs are long enough all bets are off!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:04 PM  

  • Who knew cowboys were so wise?

    By Blogger GrizzBabe, at 8:34 PM  

  • Okay J.B. let me give you the black woman rule on this one. Never, evuh, evuh date your friends ex-husband, ex-boyfriend, ex-lover, baby's father, or ex-bootie buddy. If you do, crown your self a " triffling, trick-ass, no good, low-down, skank hoochie" !

    Uhmm, sorry, I was having a flash back....still salty....

    By Blogger Angie, at 11:59 AM  

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